Here’s how to celebrate the holidays at Walt Disney World without a park ticket

in Disney, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is known for being the most magical place on earth, and during the holidays, this famous vacation destination gets even more spectacular. We love spending time at Walt Disney World during the holiday season, but with everything the holidays bring, we’re also on a budget. Not to worry: there are plenty of ways to get in the holiday spirit at Walt Disney World without purchasing a theme park ticket; the Walt Disney World resort has more than enough holiday cheer for the whole family. Here’s how you can partake in the joyous festivities of the holidays at Walt Disney World without breaking the bank.

Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs


Walking through the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs is our favorite holiday activity that Walt Disney World has to offer. We love looking at all of the festive trees with decorations and themes inspired by our favorite Disney characters, attractions, and films. This year, there are over 25 Christmas trees displayed throughout the trail. One of our favorite elements of the Christmas Tree Trail is the kiosks selling holiday food and beverages throughout the trail. You can pick up a cup of hot cocoa and take your family through the trail, admiring all of the details on display.

Here’s a list of all of the amazing trees you will find at Disney Springs:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Cinderella
  • Disney Springs
  • Disney Villains
  • Dumbo
  • Fantasia
  • Frozen
  • Haunted Mansion
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Mary Poppins
  • Mickey & Minnie Mouse
  • The Muppets
  • Mulan
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Pluto
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Robin Hood
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow White
  • Star Wars
  • Tangled
  • Toy Story
  • Walt Disney World Theme Parks


The Christmas Tree Trail is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, so be sure to stop by for some affordable holiday fun.

Meet Santa at Disney Springs


Did you know you can meet Santa for free at Walt Disney World? Disney Springs offers a free meet and greets with Santa Claus every day while the Christmas Tree Trail is open, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. PhotoPass is available to take pictures for you to purchase, but the service is optional. You can take your family to see Santa Claus during your Walt Disney World visit and give your children a holiday experience they will never forget.

Visit the Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian


Every year, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa displays a larger-than-life gingerbread house to commemorate the holiday season. We love visiting the Grand Floridian to take in the delicious scent of baked goods, eat a gingerbread cookie, and find all of the hidden Mickeys we can. Plus, the Grand Floridian Band plays music throughout the day, making the Grand Floridian the perfect holiday atmosphere for an afternoon outside the theme parks. When you’re done, resort hop to all of the other hotels on the Monorail loop, including Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We love visiting every hotel and ranking their holiday décor.

Play Reindeer Games at the Swan and Dolphin Resort

Image copyright Swan and Dolphin Resort


All of the resorts on Walt Disney World property have amazing decorations for the holiday season, and some have awesome activities to get you in the spirit. If you don’t have a park ticket but want to have fun with your whole family, head over to the Swan and Dolphin Resort near Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Every day, this resort offers several Reindeer Games for children of all ages to take part in. Take a look at amazing light displays and enjoy the amazing chocolate Santa display. And every evening at 6 p.m., an amazing Christmas tree comes to life in a lighting ceremony. You won’t want to miss out on all the holiday cheer here!

Walt Disney World Resort has plenty of holiday cheer for everyone, no matter your budget. With a little creativity, you can find all sorts of holiday festivities all throughout the resort without having to purchase a theme park ticket during peak travel season.

What is your favorite thing to do at Walt Disney World outside of the theme parks?

View Comments (2)